WHAT should an Old School Baptist Church do with a member who has been licensed to preach, and then urges his own ordination? It is the duty of the church to be honest in all her actions. The members should be subject to one another, and be clothed with humility. – 1 Peter v. 5. The church should not deal falsely by licensing one in whom they see no gift; nor on the other hand should she neglect her duty in recognizing such gifts as are bestowed upon her. If she has been too hasty in licensing one in whom she finds no profitable gift, she should be honest in kindly telling him so, and rescind the license. – Col. iii. 9. But let her be cautious that no feeling of personal jealousy or carnal prejudice should govern her action. – Read 1 Cor. iii.
WHAT is the extent of a woman’s liberty in the church? May she answer an accusation brought against her? She is free to speak in the church whenever she has anything to say to the praise of her Lord, or for the comfort and peace of the church. In this respect her liberty is the same with that of the brethren. – Gal. iii. 26-28. Paul evidently speaks of public official gifts in 1 Cor. xiv. 34, and in 1 Tim. ii. 11, 12. Phebe, Priscilla, Mary, and other sisters, are specially commended, Romans xv. 1 and other texts, for their devotion, as they could not have been if the law of Christ required of them absolute silence in the church. Yet they are to observe proper and becoming modesty, by no means usurping authority, or dictating to the church. If she must keep absolute silence, how will one tell her experience to the church if her husband is not a member. See Acts xxi. 9.
IS LIFE eternal attainable while we are in the flesh? Can we know that we are the children of God? There is nothing revealed in the Scriptures authorizing the idea that eternal life is attainable to all. Indeed, it is absurd to talk of natural life as attainable, since without life there can be no emotion or desire. Eternal life is the gift of God through Jesus Christ our Lord. – Romans vi. 23. By faith “We know that we have passed from death unto life, because we love the brethren.” But as this love is the fruit of the Spirit, our natural reason cannot see it or receive its evidence. – 1 Cor. ii. 14; 1 John iii. 14. The carnal mind of the christian can no more receive these things than can the infidel.
FROM A. B. Fitts, of Carrol Co., Georgia, comes the following array of knotty questions: Did God from all eternity foreordain whatever comes to pass? Can man do anything to save himself from past sins? Is man a responsible being? Our friend will find the first question answered authoritatively in Isaiah xlvi. 9-11, and the third, Genesis ii. 16, 17. We would recommend him to read the Bible some before engaging extensively in religious discussions.
Elder William L. Beebe
Middletown, N. Y.
Signs of the Times
Volume 49, No. 20,
October 15, 1881